Ben Edlund explains his new take on The Tick

Wicked men — tonight you face a revival of The Tick (streaming on Amazon Prime Video).

I spoke with the creator of the comic book and executive producer of the new series, Ben Edlund. Did he ever lose faith that the series would return?

“I didn’t even invest faith that it would happen,” says Edlund. “There was a point where [Executive producer] Barry Josephson and Sony came to me and I realized it was possible it could. The battle of faith was really about whether or not I was going to achieve a paradime for this show that made it worth doing. Whether or not I would find the psychological truth of Arthur and the reason why the Tick as a character should be manifested again. That part I’m happy to say from my satisfaction, we’ve arrived at that. So, I’m shocked.”

The big change from the 2001 Fox series seems to be Arthur and how his back story is explained, correct?

One of the seminal events of the tick mythos is that Arthur’s dad is killed by a falling aircraft, crushed in the street. That’s tonally speaking, an odd moment for superhero comedy to try and maintain,. That’s a weird one to really milk the real emotional trauma that comes with that, and yet have fun with every other aspect, and even have fun with trauma itself. We’re in a weird place, which is where I like being in.

Is there a parallel with Batman in that Bruce Wayne witnesses his parents being gunned down right in front of him?

In a way that is the fun house mirror of us. The more like response of that is accepting the medication that the nearest professional give you instead of doing sit ups until you’re 25 and getting Tibetan mind secrets and building a bunch of boomerangs in your basement.

Why is Amazon the right place at the right time for this Tick re-boot?

They have the money. That sounds like a joke but they have the money necessary and the commitment and the love for this project to support what is a sort of spruce goose of an immense undertaking. It has tremendous special effects costs. It’s just not what you would expect almost any company to necessary get behind with this kind of force but they did.

Their house edict is looking to a creator’s vision. They’re not trying to co-op it or take over or find a way to mainstream it. It’s a very unusual corporate stance. Its news to me.

Read more about The Tick, including comments from new star Peter Serafinowicz, in the Entertainment section of Friday’s Toronto Star.

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